We all love to travel don’t we? But who has time to plan everything? And who can afford it? Still, we are lucky enough to live in the 21st century with 2 billion people using TripAdvisor every month. Here is a quick overview of what is on offer and how you can make better decisions before booking your next holiday in wordbrain travel level 1.
Who doesn’t have time for planning a vacation? Even if you’re tight on cash-and-time, these simple tips will help you decide where to go and what adventures await.
Day 1: Get started
Before you start, be sure that you have enough saved up to cover the trip. Calculate your approximate spending on souvenirs and attractions per day: what are your daily spending limits? If you’re not in a position to withdraw from an ATM, try a cash advance at your local bank instead.
Day 2: Research your destination
Once you know where you want to go, try searching TripAdvisor for information. You might find reviews, a map with the location of hotels and attractions, feedback from previous travelers and photos that show what to expect.
It’s helpful to have an idea of the best places to visit given the time of year, the season (the best weather), the architecture and any special events. If you’re planning to travel with children, check out some kid-friendly destinations for inspiration.
Day 3: Consider practicalities
Book your flight, hotel and rental car as far in advance as possible to save money – most airlines and hotels offer discounts if you book early. If you’re driving, be sure to avoid weekends (when rental cars are likely to cost more) and opt for a vehicle with a tank that’s relatively big. You’ll need the extra space both for petrol and for storing the endless supplies of junk food that will distract your kids during car rides.
Day 4: Stay safe
Check whether it’s necessary to apply for a visa before departure. And remember that even if you aren’t traveling to a particular country, it’s important to check local laws on things like foreign currency and carry-on luggage.
Day 5: Get organized
You want to save money? Then make sure you do the research before setting off. How much money do you need to last? Then consider whether it’s necessary to buy guides or maps and whether you can rely on local mass transit systems. You might find that shopping at supermarkets is cheaper than buying food at street stands and restaurants.
Day 6 : Know where you’re going
When planning your trip, try to cover as much ground as possible in the shortest time possible. If you have a few days in one area, you might be able to rent a car and head out to some of the more remote places.
Day 7: Plan your route
Once you’ve decided on the places you want to see, find out what buses might take you there. If your plan is to travel by train or plane, make sure you allow for periods of waiting on platforms or at check-in desks. Once aboard, it’s helpful to know where your seats are located and how far from the dining car or lavatory they are.
Day 8: Consider timing
How long do you need? Estimate how much money that will cost and whether others will be sharing with you. If it’s just one person, give some thought to the best time to travel. Peak seasons mean higher prices, so if you’re planning an exotic holiday, avoid the hottest months of the year. On the other hand, you might be better off avoiding holiday periods or national celebrations – or consider traveling during local holidays.
Day 9: Consider transport
If your plans are taking you across a border (either foreign or domestic), then work out whether to use public transport or a taxi at the beginning (and end) of your journey. While trains and planes tend to be more expensive than buses – and may not get you where you want to go – they do move quickly and easily through border crossings.
Day 10: Get your passport
If you’re traveling a long distance, make sure you have a passport valid for the length of time you plan to be away. This is also a good time to save the receipt from your auto insurance and cancel your health insurance before leaving home.
Day 11: Go shopping
It’s always worth buying new socks or toiletries – not just because they’ll be used but because they’ll get worn out even before you leave home. You can easily buy these without spending much money (a handful of coins will do it). Make sure you also pack something warm that works as a blanket in case buses/trains become cold in between stops.
Day 12: Pack light
If you’re traveling by car, make sure you only take what’s absolutely necessary. And remember that extra space for luggage means more weight to carry – and more money for petrol. If you’re relying on public transport, then plan ahead so that you can buy tickets to the places you need to go at the cheapest possible prices.
Day 13: Practice “minimalism”
What do I mean by this? It means being aware of the things that are keeping you from being happy and enjoying your trip thoroughly – and giving them away before leaving home. Unwanted gifts: sell them (before they sell themselves), give them away, or donate them. Clothes you don’t really need: give them away. Books you don’t really read anymore: give them away. Electronics that are no longer functional: sell or donate them… and so on.
Day 14: Travel health
If your journey requires a long time away from home, then it’s important to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re in good health, eat healthily and get enough sleep before setting off. You’ll want to remain healthy for your drinks at the end of the day!